Essential Drugs Monitor No. 012 (1991)
(1991; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish]


This edition of the Essential Drugs Monitor focuses on creating national drug policy, increasing rational prescription by prescribers and increasing rational use among consumers. The feature article in this edition detailed the recent developments surrounding Malawi’s national drug policy. The Pharmacy, Medicine and Poison Act of 1988 was prepared with consultation from the World Health Organization and other interested private sector representatives to ensure successful implementation of the Act in the long run. In 1987 the Malawi Essential Drugs Programme (MEDP) and a Standard Drug List were both created. The MEDP led to the formulation of a five-year National Pharmaceutical Plan that outlined the basis for all planning and implementation of pharmaceutical development over that period. The Ministry of Health hosted a three-day National Drug Policy Seminar to explain the new legislation to public and private participants. Consensus was reached on all parts of the policy and few changes were made during the extensive review process.

Another article in this Monitor published an interview with the Minister of Health of Nigera, Professor O. Ransome Kuti. He discussed several elements of Nigeria’s recent legislation in 1989 to reform national drug policy. Major objectives of the new policy focus on enforcing the essential drugs list, increasing the quality of drugs and promoting reliable drug information to consumers. Two articles emphasize the importance of the availability of quality drug information: one discusses this concept in relation to consumers, and the other in relation to prescribers. Recent efforts by a group of professors in India to educate medical interns on rational use through a three day workshop are described in another article. This edition concludes with an article exposing the problem of drug overuse in France. The Newsdesk contains short articles on the American Public Health Association’s recent adoption of a rational use policy, generic drug promotion in Norway and Indonesia, and national drug policy implementation in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the Published Lately section, numerous WHO Technical Reports and other independent studies highlight more specific findings on rational use and drug regulation.

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